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,24                             THE GAY GENIUS

"For a short parting, I can bear it well,
But for a long parting, tears wet my breast.
When we do not see one another,
Distances great and small are all the same.
Without parting in this human life,
Who would guess how much one really cares?
When I first arrived at Huaiyang,
You tossed the children who clung to my gown.
You knew then the sorrow of parting
And asked me to stay until the autumn came.
The autumn wind has now arrived and gone,
But this remembrance will always remain.
You asked when I would be coming back,
And I said: 'It will be three years from, now.'
So parting and reunion go in a cycle,
And joys and sorrows pursue our way.
Talking about this I draw a long sigh,
For my life is like a spikelet in the wind.
With many sorrows, my hair turns white early.
Say farewell to the 'Six-One Old Man.'"

"Six-One Old Man" is the literary title of Ouyang Shiu. The image of
the reed flower being blown about by the wind is a fit symbol of Su
Tungpo's life, for, from now on, he was to be the stormy petrel of
politics and was never to remain in one place for more than three years
till the end of his life.                                                                   ^

Early at dawn the next morning the brothers said farewell. Su
Tungpo's deep attachment to Tseyu was really extraordinary. Later,
in a poem he wrote to one of his best friends, Li Chang, he said: "Alas,
I do not have many brodiers; in all the world there is only Tseyu."
When his three-year term of office at Hangchow was over, he asked
to be transferred to Michow, just because Tseyu was then serving at
Tsinan, which was close by in the same province of Shantung.